Thursday, June 10, 2004
Eureka Times-Standard Expresses Fear and Puzzlement at No Confidence Movement
campaign to the community, and by extension, to the internet, where the enlightened dialogue of Humboldt residents will guide a movement for genuine reform. The paper's own editorial (6/10/04) validates the many election-related problems that justify our assertion: "there is no BASIS for confidence in the validity and legitimacy of the results reported in United States elections." Without refutation, our premise continues to stand unchallenged.
The Times-Standard has not exactly come out in favor of the resolution, however, and it is important to determine why. The title of the editorial is "Confidently expressing fears of no confidence". Fear of an uncertain election outcome has been unanimously understandable at the public presentations I've made. Fear of doing nothing resonates with a lot of people. The Times-Standard is afraid of what, exactly? (our success?)
The editors also expressed "puzzlement," wondering if the No Confidence campaign can be
confident that the Arcata City Council is a legitimately elected body. With all due respect to my neighbors writing for the Times-Standard editorial page, this must be called a red herring. Having left our right to pursue change unquestioned, would the Times-Standard prefer we proceed with or without going through the officially recognized channels available to us? Surely pursuing an anarchic strategy would have yielded stronger disapproval so I say the paper can't have it both ways. We are playing the game, both by the local rules, and by the master change manual, The Declaration of Independence.
There are many classic sayings that convey the idea that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Concerned citizens, working together for a better community and world, would do well to incorporate this notion in their strategies for change. I have asked my community to join me in saying that we will not allow ourselves to be lied to anymore. Many passionate people are accepting responsibility for adding their voice to the chorus so that the City Council can hear us calling loudly enough for them to know that passing the No Confidence resolution means representing the views of their constituents. Passing it as written ensures that our single step will necessarily lead to a cumulative impact as other communities follow. This is what we mean by triggering a domino effect that will build to a tipping point. The more relevant debate is about what it looks like after the tipping point. We will not presume to speak for the entire country but we are offering suggestions to start that dialog. I thank the Times-Standard in advance for continuing to offer this forward-looking forum.
As a postscript, I know that newspapers have restrictions on how frequently they will publish submissions from community members. It is not clear that they will publish this response so it is vital that supporters of the No Confidence movement take a few minutes to write your own letter. In addition to drawing upon the ideas above, please see the No Confidence Campaign Primer for a detailed summary of talking points.